Policy on Commercialism


No printed media, technical sessions, symposia, posters, seminars, short courses, and/or all related type forums and discussions offered under the auspices of the International Association for Food Protection (hereafter referred to as to Association forums) are to be used as platforms for commercial sales or presentations by authors and/or presenters (hereafter referred to as authors) without the expressed permission of the staff or Executive Board. The Association enforces this policy in order to restrict commercialism in technical manuscripts, graphics, oral presentations, poster presentations, panel discussions, symposia papers, and all other type submissions and presentations (hereafter referred to as submissions and presentations), so that scientific merit is not diluted by proprietary secrecy.

Excessive use of brand names, product names or logos, failure to substantiate performance claims, and failure to objectively discuss alternative methods, processes, and equipment are indicators of sales pitches. Restricting commercialism benefits both the authors and recipients of submissions and presentations.

This policy has been written to serve as the basis for identifying commercialism in submissions and presentations prepared for the Association forums.


2.1 Original Work

The presentation of new technical information is to be encouraged. In addition to the commercialism evaluation, all submissions and presentations will be individually evaluated by the Program Committee chairperson, technical reviewers selected by the Program Committee chairperson, session convenor, and/or staff on the basis of originality before inclusion in the program.

2.2 Substantiating Data

Submissions and presentations should present technical conclusions derived from technical data. If products or services are described, all reported capabilities, features or benefits, and performance parameters must be substantiated by data or by an acceptable explanation as to why the data are unavailable (e.g., incomplete, not collected, etc.) and, if it will become available, when. The explanation for unavailable data will be considered by the Program Committee chairperson and/or technical reviewers selected by the Program Committee chairperson in order to ascertain if the presentation is acceptable without the data. Serious consideration should be given to withholding submissions and presentations until the data are available as only those conclusions that might be reasonably drawn from the data may be presented. Claims of benefit and/or technical conclusions not supported by the presented data are prohibited.

2.3 Trade Names

Excessive use of brand names, product names, trade names, and/or trademarks is forbidden. A general guideline is to use proprietary names once and thereafter to use generic descriptors or neutral designations. Where this would make the submission or presentation significantly more difficult to understand, the Program Committee chairperson, technical reviewers selected by the Program Committee chairperson, session convenor, and/or staff will judge whether the use of trade names, etc., is necessary and acceptable.

2.4 "Industry Practice" Statements

It may be useful to report the extent of application of technologies, products, or services, however, such statements should review the extent of application of all generically similar technologies, products, or services in the field. Specific commercial installations may be cited to the extent that their data are discussed in the submission or presentation.

2.5 Ranking

Although general comparisons of products and services are prohibited, specific generic comparisons that are substantiated by the reported data are allowed.

2.6 Proprietary Information (See also 2.2.)

Some information about products or services may be proprietary to the author’s agency or company, or to the user and may not be publishable. However, their scientific principles and validation of performance parameters must be described. Conclusions and/or comparisons may only be made on the basis of reported data.

2.7 Capabilities

Discussion of corporate capabilities or experiences are prohibited unless they pertain to the specific presented data.


3.1 Purpose

Slides, photographs, videos, illustrations, art work, and any other type visual aids appearing with the printed text in submissions or used in presentations (hereafter referred to as graphics) should be included only to clarify technical points. Graphics which primarily promote a product or service will not be allowed. (See also 4.6.)

3.2 Source

Graphics should relate specifically to the technical presentation. General graphics regularly shown in, or intended for, sales presentations cannot be used.

3.3 Company Identification

Names or logos of agencies or companies supplying goods or services must not be the focal point of the slide. Names or logos may be shown on each slide so long as they are not distracting from the overall presentation.

3.4 Copies

Graphics that are not included in the preprint may be shown during the presentation only if they have been reviewed in advance by the Program Committee chairperson, session convenor, and/or staff, and have been determined to comply with this policy. Copies of these additional graphics must be available from the author on request by individual attendees. It is the responsibility of the session convenor to verify that all graphics to be shown have been cleared by Program Committee chairperson, session convenor, staff, or other reviewers designated by the Program Committee chairperson.


4.1 Distribution

This policy will be sent to all authors of submissions and presentations in the Association forums.

4.2 Assessment Process

Reviewers of submissions and presentations will accept only those that comply with this policy. Drafts of submissions and presentations will be reviewed for commercialism concurrently by both staff and technical reviewers selected by the Program Committee chairperson. All reviewer comments shall be sent to and coordinated by either the Program Committee chairperson or the designated staff. If any submissions are found to violate this policy, authors will be informed and invited to resubmit their materials in revised form before the designated deadline.

4.3 Author Awareness

In addition to receiving a printed copy of this policy, all authors presenting in a forum will be reminded of this policy by the Program Committee chairperson, their session convenor, or the staff, whichever is appropriate.

4.4 Monitoring

Session convenors are responsible for ensuring that presentations comply with this policy. If it is determined by the session convenor that a violation or violations have occurred or are occurring, he or she will publically request that the author immediately discontinue any and all presentations (oral, visual, audio, etc.), and will notify the Program Committee chairperson and staff of the action taken.

4.5 Enforcement

While both technical reviewers, session convenors, and/or staff may check submissions and presentations for commercialism, ultimately it is the responsibility of the Program Committee chairperson to enforce this policy through the session convenors and staff.

4.6 Penalties

If the author of a submission or presentation violates this policy, the Program Committee chairperson will notify the author and the author’s agency or company of the violation in writing. If an additional violation or violations occur after a written warning has been issued to an author and his agency or company, the Association reserves the right to ban the author and the author’s agency or company from making presentations in the Association forums for a period of up to two (2) years following the violation or violations.